Thursday, May 29, 2014

Top of the Rotation Starters

When the Astros broke camp this spring I saw, more than once, ridicule thrown Houston's way for having Scott Feldman as their "#1 starter". Of course, there was a little recognition that Feldman took the honors by default, as no one else in the rotation had even two full seasons of big league experience. After Feldman the hope was that either Cosart or Oberholtzer would build on their successful 2013 seasons and help lead the rotation while Keuchel and Harrell/Peacock would be able to hold down the last two spots until our savior, Mike "Bad MF" "Folty" Foltynewicz descended upon Houston from his celestial palace up above....in Oklahoma.

Fast forward a couple months and, just as we all predicted, the Astros now have one of the best 1-2 starting duos in all of baseball. Mups were called, and Folty and Cosart are dominating...wait. What? It's Dallas "5th Starter" Keuchel and Collin "Scrap Heap" McHugh? If those are our best starters, our rotation must be the laughing stock of the league. I mean, LOLAstros, right?

Raise your hand if you said Keuchel and McHugh would be the 3rd best tandem in baseball at this point in the season. Don't believe me? Let's look at the top two starters for every squad.

Angels

IP

H

ER

K

BB

K/9

BB/9

ERA

WHIP

WAR

Richards

66.0

54

24

55

22

7.5

3.0

3.27

1.15

1.9

Skaggs

65.7

53

23

64

25

8.8

3.4

3.15

1.19

1.1

131.7

107

47

119

47

8.1

3.2

3.21

1.17

3.0

Astros

IP

H

ER

K

BB

K/9

BB/9

ERA

WHIP

WAR

Keuchel

70.7

57

20

61

12

7.8

1.5

2.55

0.98

1.9

McHugh

45.0

32

14

50

12

10.0

2.4

2.80

0.98

1.3

115.7

89

34

111

24

8.6

1.9

2.65

0.98

3.2

Athletics

IP

H

ER

K

BB

K/9

BB/9

ERA

WHIP

WAR

Kazmir

74.0

59

19

60

24

7.3

2.9

2.31

1.12

1.3

Gray

59.7

47

17

45

13

6.8

2.0

2.56

1.01

1.3

133.7

106

36

105

37

7.1

2.5

2.42

1.07

2.6

Blue Jays

IP

H

ER

K

BB

K/9

BB/9

ERA

WHIP

WAR

Buehrle

73.3

71

19

43

19

5.3

2.3

2.33

1.23

1.8

Dickey

68.3

58

30

54

31

7.1

4.1

3.95

1.30

1.0

141.7

129

49

97

50

6.2

3.2

3.11

1.26

2.8

Braves

IP

H

ER

K

BB

K/9

BB/9

ERA

WHIP

WAR

Harang

65.7

62

24

71

19

9.7

2.6

3.29

1.23

2.0

Santana

57.7

56

26

54

17

8.4

2.7

4.06

1.27

0.9

123.3

118

50

125

36

9.1

2.6

3.65

1.25

2.9

Brewers

IP

H

ER

K

BB

K/9

BB/9

ERA

WHIP

WAR

Lohse

74.0

67

24

59

13

7.2

1.6

2.92

1.08

2.0

Peralta

63.7

63

15

49

16

6.9

2.3

2.12

1.24

0.9

137.7

130

39

108

29

7.1

1.9

2.55

1.16

2.9

Cardinals

IP

H

ER

K

BB

K/9

BB/9

ERA

WHIP

WAR

Wainwright

81.0

53

15

77

16

8.6

1.8

1.67

0.85

2.0

Wacha

67.3

56

20

68

19

9.1

2.5

2.67

1.11

0.9

148.3

109

35

145

35

8.8

2.1

2.12

0.97

2.9

Cubs

IP

H

ER

K

BB

K/9

BB/9

ERA

WHIP

WAR

Samardzija

75.0

59

14

64

21

7.7

2.5

1.68

1.07

1.8

Hammel

64.3

43

22

54

15

7.6

2.1

3.08

0.90

1.2

139.3

102

36

118

36

7.6

2.3

2.33

0.99

3.0

Diamondbacks

IP

H

ER

K

BB

K/9

BB/9

ERA

WHIP

WAR

McCarthy

68.3

74

37

59

12

7.8

1.6

4.87

1.26

0.5

Miley

75.7

72

40

63

26

7.5

3.1

4.76

1.30

0.4

144.0

146

77

122

38

7.6

2.4

4.81

1.28

0.9

Dodgers

IP

H

ER

K

BB

K/9

BB/9

ERA

WHIP

WAR

Ryu

52.3

49

18

47

12

8.1

2.1

3.10

1.17

1.3

Greinke

66.0

60

16

76

14

10.4

1.9

2.18

1.12

1.1

118.3

109

34

123

26

9.4

2.0

2.59

1.14

2.4

Giants

IP

H

ER

K

BB

K/9

BB/9

ERA

WHIP

WAR

Bumgarner

65.7

70

23

75

17

10.3

2.3

3.15

1.33

1.2

Hudson

70.3

56

15

44

6

5.6

0.8

1.92

0.88

1.1

136.0

126

38

119

23

7.9

1.5

2.51

1.10

2.3

Indians

IP

H

ER

K

BB

K/9

BB/9

ERA

WHIP

WAR

Kluber

72.7

75

25

83

17

10.3

2.1

3.10

1.27

2.6

Masterson

67.3

71

39

58

33

7.8

4.4

5.21

1.54

0.6

140.0

146

64

141

50

9.1

3.2

4.11

1.40

3.2

Mariners

IP

H

ER

K

BB

K/9

BB/9

ERA

WHIP

WAR

Hernandez

75.3

66

23

74

14

8.8

1.7

2.75

1.06

2.5

Elias

65.0

61

28

57

26

7.9

3.6

3.88

1.34

0.8

140.3

127

51

131

40

8.4

2.6

3.27

1.19

3.3

Marlins

IP

H

ER

K

BB

K/9

BB/9

ERA

WHIP

WAR

Eovaldi

67.0

68

25

57

14

7.7

1.9

3.36

1.22

1.0

Fernandez

51.7

36

14

70

13

12.2

2.3

2.44

0.95

1.7

118.7

104

39

127

27

9.6

2.0

2.96

1.10

2.7

Mets

IP

H

ER

K

BB

K/9

BB/9

ERA

WHIP

WAR

Niese

62.3

54

19

45

19

6.5

2.7

2.74

1.17

0.8

Wheeler

56.3

59

29

53

29

8.5

4.6

4.63

1.56

0.5

118.7

113

48

98

48

7.4

3.6

3.64

1.36

1.3

Nationals

IP

H

ER

K

BB

K/9

BB/9

ERA

WHIP

WAR

Strasburg

68.3

70

26

81

18

10.7

2.4

3.42

1.29

1.7

Zimmermann

54.7

66

24

47

12

7.7

2.0

3.95

1.43

0.9

123.0

136

50

128

30

9.4

2.2

3.66

1.35

2.6

Orioles

IP

H

ER

K

BB

K/9

BB/9

ERA

WHIP

WAR

Chen

58.0

72

29

40

10

6.2

1.6

4.50

1.41

1.0

Jimenez

56.0

58

31

51

28

8.2

4.5

4.98

1.54

0.7

114.0

130

60

91

38

7.2

3.0

4.74

1.47

1.7

Padres

IP

H

ER

K

BB

K/9

BB/9

ERA

WHIP

WAR

Kennedy

67.7

61

27

72

16

9.6

2.1

3.59

1.14

1.2

Cashner

57.3

52

15

47

17

7.4

2.7

2.35

1.20

1.1

125.0

113

42

119

33

8.6

2.4

3.02

1.17

2.3

Phillies

IP

H

ER

K

BB

K/9

BB/9

ERA

WHIP

WAR

Lee

68.0

78

24

61

9

8.1

1.2

3.18

1.28

1.7

Hamels

44.7

43

22

44

15

8.9

3.0

4.43

1.30

0.8

112.7

121

46

105

24

8.4

1.9

3.67

1.29

2.5

Pirates

IP

H

ER

K

BB

K/9

BB/9

ERA

WHIP

WAR

Morton

63.0

58

23

41

22

5.9

3.1

3.29

1.27

0.4

Cole

64.7

65

27

60

21

8.4

2.9

3.76

1.33

0.3

127.7

123

50

101

43

7.1

3.0

3.52

1.30

0.7

Rangers

IP

H

ER

K

BB

K/9

BB/9

ERA

WHIP

WAR

Darvish

61.3

49

16

71

19

10.4

2.8

2.35

1.11

2.2

Lewis

42.3

59

24

37

15

7.9

3.2

5.10

1.75

0.7

103.7

108

40

108

34

9.4

3.0

3.47

1.37

2.9

Rays

IP

H

ER

K

BB

K/9

BB/9

ERA

WHIP

WAR

Price

77.3

83

38

84

8

9.8

0.9

4.42

1.18

1.4

Archer

57.0

58

26

52

24

8.2

3.8

4.11

1.44

1.2

134.3

141

64

136

32

9.1

2.1

4.29

1.29

2.6

Red Sox

IP

H

ER

K

BB

K/9

BB/9

ERA

WHIP

WAR

Lester

73.0

69

28

83

21

10.2

2.6

3.45

1.23

2.2

Lackey

65.3

67

26

59

14

8.1

1.9

3.58

1.24

1.5

138.3

136

54

142

35

9.2

2.3

3.51

1.24

3.7

Reds

IP

H

ER

K

BB

K/9

BB/9

ERA

WHIP

WAR

Cueto

83.7

43

17

85

20

9.1

2.2

1.83

0.75

1.8

Leake

71.0

61

23

46

14

5.8

1.8

2.92

1.06

0.7

154.7

104

40

131

34

7.6

2.0

2.33

0.89

2.5

Rockies

IP

H

ER

K

BB

K/9

BB/9

ERA

WHIP

WAR

Lyles

60.0

52

23

41

21

6.2

3.2

3.45

1.22

0.9

de la Rosa

59.0

46

24

48

23

7.3

3.5

3.66

1.17

0.6

119.0

98

47

89

44

6.7

3.3

3.55

1.19

1.5

Royals

IP

H

ER

K

BB

K/9

BB/9

ERA

WHIP

WAR

Shields

73.3

71

24

63

15

7.7

1.8

2.95

1.17

1.5

Ventura

57.3

53

22

59

19

9.3

3.0

3.45

1.26

1.1

130.7

124

46

122

34

8.4

2.3

3.17

1.21

2.6

Tigers

IP

H

ER

K

BB

K/9

BB/9

ERA

WHIP

WAR

Scherzer

72.0

61

24

82

24

10.3

3.0

3.00

1.18

1.6

Verlander

71.3

78

32

50

30

6.3

3.8

4.04

1.51

1.6

143.3

139

56

132

54

8.3

3.4

3.52

1.35

3.2

Twins

IP

H

ER

K

BB

K/9

BB/9

ERA

WHIP

WAR

Hughes

61.3

67

22

50

6

7.3

0.9

3.23

1.19

1.9

Correia

55.3

70

39

31

13

5.0

2.1

6.34

1.50

0.7

116.7

137

61

81

19

6.2

1.5

4.71

1.34

2.6

White Sox

IP

H

ER

K

BB

K/9

BB/9

ERA

WHIP

WAR

Quintana

67.3

67

27

54

18

7.2

2.4

3.61

1.26

1.6

Danks

60.7

60

33

45

26

6.7

3.9

4.90

1.42

0.4

128.0

127

60

99

44

7.0

3.1

4.22

1.34

2.0

Yankees

IP

H

ER

K

BB

K/9

BB/9

ERA

WHIP

WAR

Tanaka

70.7

59

18

79

10

10.1

1.3

2.29

0.98

2.1

Kuroda

59.3

66

30

46

11

7.0

1.7

4.55

1.30

0.8

130.0

125

48

125

21

8.7

1.5

3.32

1.12

2.9

 


For comparison's sake, I also have the totals in their own chart.

IP

H

ER

K

BB

K/9

BB/9

ERA

WHIP

WAR

Angels

131.7

107

47

119

47

8.1

3.2

3.21

1.17

3.0

Astros

115.7

89

34

111

24

8.6

1.9

2.65

0.98

3.2

Athletics

133.7

106

36

105

37

7.1

2.5

2.42

1.07

2.6

Blue Jays

141.7

129

49

97

50

6.2

3.2

3.11

1.26

2.8

Braves

123.3

118

50

125

36

9.1

2.6

3.65

1.25

2.9

Brewers

137.7

130

39

108

29

7.1

1.9

2.55

1.16

2.9

Cardinals

148.3

109

35

145

35

8.8

2.1

2.12

0.97

2.9

Cubs

139.3

102

36

118

36

7.6

2.3

2.33

0.99

3.0

Diamondbacks

144.0

146

77

122

38

7.6

2.4

4.81

1.28

0.9

Dodgers

118.3

109

34

123

26

9.4

2.0

2.59

1.14

2.4

Giants

136.0

126

38

119

23

7.9

1.5

2.51

1.10

2.3

Indians

140.0

146

64

141

50

9.1

3.2

4.11

1.40

3.2

Mariners

140.3

127

51

131

40

8.4

2.6

3.27

1.19

3.3

Marlins

118.7

104

39

127

27

9.6

2.0

2.96

1.10

2.7

Mets

118.7

113

48

98

48

7.4

3.6

3.64

1.36

1.3

Nationals

123.0

136

50

128

30

9.4

2.2

3.66

1.35

2.6

Orioles

114.0

130

60

91

38

7.2

3.0

4.74

1.47

1.7

Padres

125.0

113

42

119

33

8.6

2.4

3.02

1.17

2.3

Phillies

112.7

121

46

105

24

8.4

1.9

3.67

1.29

2.5

Pirates

127.7

123

50

101

43

7.1

3.0

3.52

1.30

0.7

Rangers

103.7

108

40

108

34

9.4

3.0

3.47

1.37

2.9

Rays

134.3

141

64

136

32

9.1

2.1

4.29

1.29

2.6

Red Sox

138.3

136

54

142

35

9.2

2.3

3.51

1.24

3.7

Reds

154.7

104

40

131

34

7.6

2.0

2.33

0.89

2.5

Rockies

119.0

98

47

89

44

6.7

3.3

3.55

1.19

1.5

Royals

130.7

124

46

122

34

8.4

2.3

3.17

1.21

2.6

Tigers

143.3

139

56

132

54

8.3

3.4

3.52

1.35

3.2

Twins

116.7

137

61

81

19

6.2

1.5

4.71

1.34

2.6

White Sox

128.0

127

60

99

44

7.0

3.1

4.22

1.34

2.0

Yankees

130.0

125

48

125

21

8.7

1.5

3.32

1.12

2.9

 


And where those totals rank.

IP

H

ER

K

BB

K/9

BB/9

ERA

WHIP

WAR

Angels

14

7

14

15

26

17

26

13

12

6

Astros

27

1

1

19

4

11

4

8

3

3

Athletics

13

6

4

22

19

25

18

4

5

15

Blue Jays

5

21

18

27

28

30

25

11

18

13

Braves

20

13

19

10

17

6

20

22

17

10

Brewers

10

22

7

20

8

26

5

6

10

10

Cardinals

2

9

3

1

15

9

10

1

2

10

Cubs

8

3

4

18

17

21

14

2

4

6

Diamondbacks

3

29

30

13

20

19

16

30

19

29

Dodgers

25

9

1

12

6

4

7

7

9

22

Giants

11

18

6

15

3

18

3

5

6

23

Indians

7

29

28

3

28

8

27

25

29

3

Mariners

6

19

22

6

22

14

19

14

13

2

Marlins

23

4

7

9

7

1

9

9

7

14

Mets

23

11

16

26

27

22

30

21

27

28

Nationals

21

24

19

8

9

3

12

23

26

15

Orioles

28

22

25

28

20

23

22

29

30

26

Padres

19

11

11

15

11

12

17

10

11

23

Phillies

29

14

12

22

4

15

6

24

20

20

Pirates

18

15

19

24

23

24

23

19

22

30

Rangers

30

8

9

20

12

2

21

16

28

8

Rays

12

28

28

4

10

7

11

27

21

18

Red Sox

9

24

23

2

15

5

13

17

16

1

Reds

1

4

9

6

12

20

8

3

1

20

Rockies

22

2

14

29

24

28

28

20

14

27

Royals

15

16

12

13

12

13

15

12

15

15

Tigers

4

27

24

5

30

16

29

18

25

3

Twins

26

26

27

30

1

29

2

28

24

18

White Sox

17

19

25

25

24

27

24

26

23

25

Yankees

16

17

16

10

2

10

1

15

8

8

 


Keuchel and McHugh as a duo are 11th in K/9, 4th in BB/9, 8th in ERA, and 3rd in WIP. Add it all up and, using FanGraphs WAR as our measuring stick, the Astros duo is the 3rd best 1-2 punch in all of baseball. That puts them just behind the Red Sox (Jon Lester and John Lackey) and the Mariners (Felix Hernandez and Roenis Elias) and tied with the Tigers (Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander). Granted Keuchel and McHugh don't have the track records that most of those other guys do, but it will be interesting to see if they can continue to keep themselves in such elite company.

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